Cold and flu season has arrived, and the germaphobe in me wants to crawl into a hole with a jar of Nutella, a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and a case of wine, and not come out until spring arrives. But we all know a case of wine isn’t going to last me until May, let alone March, so I’ve decided to put the hand sanitizer down and just embrace the snotty chaos this year.
And you know what?
It’s kind of nice to let go and pretend I’m a normal human being with the other moms in all of our mom-and-me classes.
But when I started spending more time with our pediatrician than my own husband, I decided to reach out to my mom friends and ask them for all of their tips and tricks for dealing with a sick child before I go back into hiding.
And the advice was so good, I decided I had to write it all down and pass it along.
Because it takes a village to raise a child, right?
So here you have it.
20 tips and tricks for dealing with a sick child from moms I trust.
1. “Message your BFF and confess that you would rather be on a Caribbean island than dealing with the mess of sick kid!” –The Mom of the Year
2. “When little kids have a cough that’s keeping them (& you) awake at night, slather some Vicks Vapor Rub on the soles of their feet and put socks on them. Within about 15-20 minutes the coughing will stop & they will sleep through the night!” –The Golden Spoons
3. “I give them blankets I’ve warmed for a few minutes in the clothes dryer. They love it. Also works with towels after they have bathed. Oh…and fruit juice popsicles are the key to keeping them hydrated.” –a calibama state of mind
4. “I put Eucalyptus and Peppermint on my kids’ feet (same concept as with the Vicks–it works because it seems into the blood stream faster on the feet than most places), backs, and chest. I also throw some oils in the humidifier so it puts moisture and the scents into the air. If they’re stuffed up, I’ll run the hot water in the sinks and tub in the bathroom and create our own sauna, too. I also encourage DVDs because if they lie still long enough, they just may fall asleep!” –When Crazy Meets Exhaustion
5. “I also make “hot lemonade” – lemon juice and honey in hot water (but not too hot for the kids).” –Eubanks Eutopia
6. “I did Vicks on the feet too but my girls are thrashers and the socks never stayed on. So I use the plug in vapor strips with mentholated eucalyptus and chamomile and it makes for sleeeeeeeepy time. I also do a warmer than normal bath with night time soap w/ lavender even if it’s 2pm. And I Lysol ALL THE THINGS ALL DAY LONG.” –Mommy Needs a Martini
7. “I tuck the kid in on the couch and hand over the iPad and the remote and then put ear plugs in my ears so he can watch whatever he wants ad nauseam — usually Pokemon and Beyblades. The rule is if you’ve got a fever you can watch what you want on TV all day. Keeps him on the couch so he can rest, for sure!” –Science of Parenthood
8. “Cinnamon and honey mixture spread on whatever they eat (pancakes, toast, fruit). Eucalyptus oil in the humidifier, Vicks on the feet. Lots of comfort activities, movies in mommy and daddy’s bed, extra iPad time, long warm baths with fun bubbles and colors (and that j and j cold baby wash).” –From Meredith to Mommy
9. “When my kids won’t keep hydrated and/or have a fever I give them small pieces of ice in bowls. Sounds weird but they love it. If they’re being really messy, I put them in the tub with the ice. They drop a bunch, they melt fast but they wind up drinking a lot of water and it’s better than sugar popsicles. I can never plan ahead enough to make ice cubes with fruit and/or juice but that would work too. If they have phlegm in their throat, and it’s really bothering them, try toast, crackers or even potato chips with a drink. Sounds weird, and the first couple bites might hurt, but it scrapes the junk off and makes them feel better when their throat is clear.” –ComfyTown Chronicals
10. “For a tummy bug, we do Gatorade by the spoonful, increasing incrementally if they can keep it down. After that it’s popsicles and jello, followed by the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast.) For a cold, I do a hot bath, then Vicks on the chest and a humidifier. Sore throat is hot water with honey and lemon. But my fave is the rice sock… clean cotton sock filled with rice, knotted and microwaved for a minute or so. Smells fabulous and cures all aches and pains.” –Notes From the Shallow End
11. “My mom always made me warm Jello when I was sick…it is basically Jello in liquid form before you refrigerate it…I would sip it from a straw and it cured everything from a sore throat to a stomach bug. I now do it for my kids.” –The Dose of Reality
12. “We use suppository fever reducers because my son freaks over meds. They’re actually much better.” –Finding Ninee
13. “Put small amounts of pedialyte or water into medicine cups. Then you can test how their tummy handles it and they think it’s fun to drink from a tiny cup.” –Andrea T.
14. “Liquid jello makes a great cough suppressant and soothes sore throats.” –Kim S.
15. “Try vapo rub on their feet with socks. It really works for stuffy noses and a teaspoon of honey for sore throats.” –Erin F.
16. “Put a pillow under crib mattress. Helps stop everything settling in their head.” –Tina V.
17. “The Vicks vapor plug ins are currently working for my stuffy toddler during nap time. Last night was no fun!” –Jill K.
18. “This is for the dreadful sniffles and cough: one and half teaspoon of honey, one teaspoon of lemon juice (freshly squeezed), and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix this and swallow or sip and taste. It should taste like concentrated lemonade. This soothes the itchy throat. The lemon gives you the Vit C boost, pepper acts like a decongestant and honey soothes the throat. Your little one should feel better soon. Pls remember that honey can only be given to babies over 1 year old. Also, I hide medication in a little bit of homemade Popsicle (welsh juice) or frozen yogurt. I use very little pop or you won’t know how much med went in.” –Indigoandviolet
19. “Vicks on feet with socks at night always cures my five yr olds cough.” –Shelly F.
20. “Vitamin C in their juice. They have no idea they’re building their immune system.” –Definitely Ashlee
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